and it was the change up to SP2 that caught many users out.
I take it that this system is now booting up correctly to XP SP1?
If so, then these are the most common causes of failure in updating to SP2.
1] Malware. The system must be squeaky clean, no viruses, spyware or any other malware.
2] Compatibility problems. Some software problems might occur in the update process if there is a compatibility problem. Microsoft has a utility to test for 'application' compatibility problems;
Application Compatibility Testing and Mitigation Guide for Windows XP Service Pack 2.
3] There may also be some hardware compatibility problems, but that is difficult to test beforehand, so the best method to update is to disconnect all peripherals and USB devices from the system before attempting the update. USB mouse and keyboard should not be affected and can stay connected.
4] Make sure you have plenty of disk space available on the hard disk. I'm not sure what plenty is, but for example, a disk with only a couple of GBs free space remaining might struggle, where a disk with 10-15 GBs of free space will be OK.
I hope that helps.
We had an issue with a PC in which we had an error NTLDR Can Not Read BOOT.INI. We performed a Windows Repair using the original disc for the PC which was XP Home SP1. It booted fine except for errors stating that it required SP2 or higher to run certain apps. We tried to upgrade to SP3. After installation it rebooted to flash a BSOD for a split second and reboot. After reboot it would only boot in Safe Mode. We reverted back to SP1 and tried to reboot. Everything was okay again. We then tried to install SP2 and the same thing happened as it did with SP3. The machine will only boot with SP1 on it now. Any ideas?